Google has announced a series of measures to provide up-to-date and actionable information to help people and cities cope with rising temperatures due to climate change.
These initiatives include new extreme heat alerts on Google Search, the expansion of the Tree Canopy tool for urban planning, and a $5 million investment in the World Resources Institute through the Google.org Impact Challenge for Climate Innovation.
New Extreme Heat Alerts In Google Search
As extreme weather events become more frequent, search interest in heat waves has also increased.
To provide accurate and useful information during such events, Google will introduce extreme heat alerts in Search in the coming months. Searchers will see details about the duration of a heat wave, tips to stay cool, and associated health risks.
Google is partnering with the Global Heat Health Information Network (GHHIN) to ensure reliable and relevant information.
AI-Powered Tools To Help Cities Combat Rising Temperatures
Urban areas often suffer from “heat islands” where higher temperatures are recorded due to heat-absorbing structures like roads and buildings.
To combat this issue, Google’s Tree Canopy tool, part of the Environmental Insights Explorer, uses AI and aerial imagery to help cities analyze tree coverage and plan urban forestry initiatives more effectively.
The Tree Canopy tool is now available in nearly 350 cities worldwide, with plans to expand to thousands more this year.
Google is also developing a tool to support the implementation of cool roofs designed to reflect sunlight and absorb less heat.
This tool will use AI algorithms and aerial imagery to help cities identify areas that could benefit from cool roofs. Pilot projects with selected cities will be launched soon.
Supporting Climate Action Through Google.org
Google.org is backing nonprofit projects focused on identifying communities most affected by extreme heat and finding ways to help them.
The first recipient of the $30 million Google.org Impact Challenge for climate action is the World Resources Institute (WRI), which will receive $5 million.
WRI’s project will use sensors, satellite imagery, and AI to fill data gaps and model various factors related to extreme heat. This information will help decision-makers determine where to implement cool surface infrastructure like trees and reflective surfaces.
Google.org also funds American Forests to expand its free urban forestry tools for cities and Resilient Cities Catalyst through the ICLEI USA Action Fund to create an AI-driven heat-energy vulnerability index. Both organizations will use Google’s Tree Canopy tool in their work.
Google’s initiatives to help people and communities adapt to rising temperatures demonstrate the potential of technology in addressing climate change.
By providing timely and relevant information about extreme weather and supporting cities and organizations in building infrastructure to mitigate climate change effects, Google is making a valuable contribution to global climate action.
As the frequency of extreme weather events increases, these efforts become even more crucial for the safety and well-being of people worldwide.
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